DNA is in Every Cell (almost)

Except for mature human red blood cells, every cell of every living thing contains DNA. Even immature human red blood cells contain DNA!
DNA can now even be isolated from ancient tissues.

Strawberries, bananas and kiwis, when ripe, are plentiful sources of DNA you can isolate at home. Why? These fruit are the ovaries in or on which seeds, the next generation of these plants, develop. The particular tissue is called endosperm, and each endosperm cell contains multiple copies of the plant's genome, so there is a higher concentration of DNA in each cell.  Ripe kiwi, bananas and strawberries are soft because their cell walls have started to break down, which makes it much easier to break open the cells and get the DNA out -- at home.  Carrots, lettuce, potatoes, onions and spinach have DNA in all their cells too, but it's more difficult to break open the cells. Scientists modify methods to better open and extract DNA from those cells.

The first report of isolated DNA, called nuclein, was published in 1869.
Today, it's been possible to study DNA from fossils, using new special techniques to amplify (make many more copies) the minute quantities of the DNA that might remain after bone becomes fossilized (replaced by minerals). Scientists have now examined DNA from Neanderthals that lived 30,000 to 40,000 years ago and DNA from even more ancient fossils - such as horses that lived more than 400,000 years ago!

Here are some good, accessible (no subscription needed) methods to isolate DNA from strawberries. You can use frozen strawberries also!
Table salt, Dishwashing liquid or shampoo (without conditioner) and 91% rubbing alcohol do the work. You can substitute a piece of paper towel (wet it first with some tap water) for the cheesecloth!
This method was first reported as "Berry Full of DNA" by Diane Sweeney in the 1990s for Biology: Exploring Life
It's now possible to conduct amplification experiments (PCR) with a modification of this method - using equipment you likely will not have at home! authors.fhcrc.org/523/32/016_Strawberry_DNA_Iso%3APure.pdf

Subpages (1): Strawberry Science